This weekend I was faced with one of those situations (aka people) that are designed purely to push your buttons and piss you off. It’s one of those situations where your reaction, no matter what it is, will haunt you because it will never satisfy you. There was a huge part of me that, when confronted with this person, wanted to lash out and unleash hell, but I also knew that would only create a level of conflict that I am way too old for. So I opted for the exact opposite- say nothing and walk away.
I know to some that would seem like the chicken way out, but I am certain that this was the right choice as the person in question is not someone who can be reasoned with, and anything I said would have been turned back on me and I would have been made out to be the bad guy for eternity. You know the type, and as I get older my patience and tolerance for those people is at an all-time low. I choose not to engage in drama- I believe that makes me smart, not cowardly and it keeps me sane. And no matter what they are bringing to the table, I remain kind, only engaging when I believe that what I have to say is absolutely necessary, has a point, and will actually make a difference to the situation. As they say: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.”
I know how these things go, and I refuse to spout something out in an attempt to make myself feel better in the moment, only to end up ruminating over it for god knows how long, possibly landing in a pool of regret and having to come back and apologize. And apologize I will, if I think it’s right for me to do so, though I will not apologize just to hear the words come out of my mouth. I don’t say things I don’t mean. So as I said, I walked away, and as others witnessed this event, it was mentioned that I was too nice and I felt that was a topic that needed to be addressed. What does it even mean to be “too nice”?
I am often accused of being too nice and I find that pretty funny, not to mention ridiculous. My mom always said that there is no such thing as being too nice and I completely agree. You are either nice, or you’re not. You either assert yourself while maintaining kindness and compassion, or you don’t. You either have consideration for others, or you don’t. You either establish boundaries, remaining firm in your values and beliefs without resorting to being a jerkface, or you don’t. And while failing to be nice in a given situation doesn’t mean you aren’t a nice person generally, being nice is either something you strive for, or it’s not. There aren’t levels of nice.
Perhaps the confusion lies with this- please understand, being nice is not synonymous with being bubbly, perky, or uber-friendly. None of those words would be used to describe me at any point. I have been blessed with resting bitch face like no other with the words “fuck off” tattooed across my forehead, which tends to intimidate people a little bit from time to time. It’s not intentional by any means, but I am aware of it so that just means I have to work a little harder and be extra intentional about overcoming it when I come across people. If you break me out of my focus at that moment though, and get past my introversion, you will be greeted with a warm smile and brought into my world of love and care. I may look mean, but I’m never actually mean. I don’t believe there is a cause to ever be mean to anyone. That’s not my creed. I live by another creed…
Kill ‘em with kindness 🙂
Another point of confusion. Notice the saying says to kill THEM with kindness, not yourself. I think too often people confuse being nice with being a pushover and they are not at all the same, nor does it mean allowing people to treat you as less. Letting people walk all over you isn’t being nice. That’s being an asshole to yourself. Being nice is a simple concept. It just means to be kind to every person you can be, at any time you can be, and the Dalai Lama once said: “be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” That’s the way I try to live my life, not seeing the point in putting energy behind being mean or hateful. If those are the emotions a person brings out in me, then that person does not belong in my life. However, not being someone I want to hang out with does not mean that I won’t continue to be nice to them and about them. I don’t have to be your friend to be nice to you. I don’t even have to like you for that matter, but I will always be kind. And not in that fake way of someone who is being nice to your face and talking crap behind your back, but the genuine kind because you deserve it just for existing. First of all, I have better things to do than talk about someone I don’t want in my life. And second- let’s be honest, I do that for me, not them. I want to look at myself at the end of the day and feel good about the person I see, knowing I did my best that day in my treatment of others and myself. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes of their world that makes them the way they are, so I give people the benefit of the doubt and I’ve never regret it.
This applies to romantic relationships too. People have lost their damn minds when it comes to how people should be treated. There is a serious problem with a lack of kindness in relationships. I see way too many people being mean to their significant others, the one person you have committed to love and care for. What is going on there? Getting someone into a relationship with you does not give you license to treat them poorly. If that’s how you want to treat someone, or believe that’s what a relationship should look like, seek counseling seriously. And for the person putting up with it, you seek counseling too to rediscover your self-worth and confidence. No one deserves that and love doesn’t look or act like that.
And when it comes to the issue of being nice- those of you who have ever broken up with someone under the bullshit excuse of “they’re too nice,” let’s just nip that shit in the bud right now. Knock it off.
If you are ending a relationship because someone is nice to you, cares for you, is considerate of you, does nice things for you, doesn’t engage in stupid fights with you, or any other healthy relationship behavior…I’ll say it again, seek counseling. You don’t break up with someone for not being an asshole to you. That’s absurd. In reality, most people aren’t really ending things because the other person is too nice. They’re ending things because he/she doesn’t have a backbone and won’t stand up for him/herself, or they let you walk all over them. You’re ending it because they lack confidence, not because they’re too nice. Quit telling people that a secure, loving partner won’t want them if they are nice. That’s total horse-shit. Maybe you don’t think you deserve to be treated with kindness so you’re sabotaging it, so own that and be honest about why you’re ending it. Call a spade a spade and stop ruining good potential partners with the ridiculous notion that someone could treat another person too well. That’s just stupid.
Don’t let the words “you’re too nice” ever come out of your mouth again. It’s a lie.
There is no such thing.